The new ML breakthrough by a team of engineers at the University of Cambridge, the UK, will change the way vegetables are picked up from a vegetable garden. The engineers have built an ML-based robot which has the capability to pluck lettuce with ease.
Dubbed as “Vegerobot”, the robot has been developed to recognise iceberg lettuce and determine whether it’s healthy to eat or not. If the lettuce turns out to be healthy then it is ready to be picked; where the robot will cut the lettuce without damaging it.
Before using the robot, the engineers inside a laboratory taught it to spot and pick the lettuce. After successful training sessions, Vegerobot, now, has undergone many tests in a range of field conditions.
According to the engineers, the new robot is neither as fast nor effective as a human. The research highlighted the possibility of using robots in agriculture on a wider scale, as mentioned in the Journal of Field Robotics.
One of the members from Cambridge’s engineering department said- “Every field is different, every lettuce is different. But if we can make a robotic harvester work with iceberg lettuce, we could also make it work with many other crops”.
Coming to other innovations, Abundant Robotics, an American tech firm has deployed the automated apple-picking robots. And in New Zealand, T&G Global, a fruit growing company, unveiled robotic harvesters for apples.
The new innovation marks the latest use of smart tech in the field of agriculture.